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  • Oct 10- Record-high retail prices for gasoline in California began to ease on Wednesday, receding from an unprecedented rally to nearly $5 a gallon, even as further refinery disruptions threatened to slow the decline.

  • Progressive 3Q profit jumps on investment gains Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 11:29 AM ET

    MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio-- Auto insurer Progressive said Wednesday that its third-quarter net income jumped 84 percent, boosted by gains on its investments. Progressive earned $277 million, or 46 cents per share, in the three months ended in September, up from $150.7 million, or 24 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

  • NEW YORK Oct. 10, 2012-- Standard& Poor's Ratings Services today lowered its ratings on three classes of commercial mortgage pass-through certificates from GMAC Commercial Mortgage Securities Inc.' s series 2001- C1 due to current and potential interest shortfalls.

  • Romney's Bain advisers aided China, Russia growth Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 11:16 AM ET

    WASHINGTON-- As Bain& Co. head in the early 1990 s, Mitt Romney presided over the corporate strategy firm's expanding operations into China and Russia, helping their initial attempts to move into the world's free market system. In his campaign, China and Russia are prime targets for criticism.

  • U.S. Fed sells $7.8 bln of shorter-dated Treasuries Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 11:11 AM ET

    NEW YORK, Oct 10- The Federal Reserve on Wednesday sold on the open market $7.8 billion of U.S. Treasuries maturing April 2014 through February 2015, the New York Fed said on its website. Dealers submitted a total of $44.482 billion of Treasuries for the sale, the New York Fed said.

  • Wal-Mart to accelerate small store growth Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 11:09 AM ET

    NEW YORK-- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is accelerating the expansion of small stores, particularly its Neighborhood Market stores, as it looks to compete with a variety of rivals from dollar stores to drug chains.

  • TEXT-S&P rates NorthStar Student Loan Trust I 2012-1 notes Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 11:08 AM ET

    --NorthStar Student Loan Trust I's issuance is an ABS securitization backed by student loans that are at least 97% reinsured by the U.S. federal government. NEW YORK Oct. 10, 2012-- Standard& Poor's Ratings Services today assigned its preliminary' AA+' rating to NorthStar Student Loan Trust I's $674.6 million class A student loan asset-backed notes series 2012-1.

  • Willie Geist joins 'Today' show Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 11:06 AM ET

    NEW YORK-- Willie Geist will no longer have to be at work way too early. The MSNBC personality will join Al Roker and Natalie Morales as a host of the 9 a.m. hour of the "Today" show, and contribute to the program during its first two hours, NBC News said Wednesday. "There is a sense of just loosening up the show a bit," said Geist, son of CBS News reporter Bill Geist. "

  • Sudan, South Sudan pledge peace, seek investment Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 11:06 AM ET

    *Rare chance for Sudan to meet Western firms. *Sudan and South came close to war in April. VIENNA, Oct 10- Sudan and South Sudan pledged to work together to rebuild their shattered economies and not to return to war in a joint plea for foreign investment after signing a critical trade and border agreement last month.

  • NEW YORK, Oct 10- Elevated general collateral repo rates indicated the Treasury's $40 billion four-week bill auction Wednesday is likely to be dominated by dealers.

  • Beatles romp at latest Woodstock Film Festival Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 11:04 AM ET

    Also highlighted at the film festival this year will be "Vamps," director Amy Heckerling's comedic take on the travails of club-hopping vampires, which reunites her with "Clueless" star Alicia Silverstone.

  • Brent crude futures up more than $1 Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 11:04 AM ET

    Brent November crude was up 89 cents at $115.39 a barrel at 11:02 a.m. EDT, having traded from $113.77 to $115.59.

  • RPT-Buyout firms, Discovery eye ProSieben units-sources Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 11:04 AM ET

    *BC Partners, EQT, Providence, Discovery showed interest* Price tag seen at up to 1.4 bln euros* Final bids due later this months By Sven Nordenstam and Arno Schuetze STOCKHOLM/ FRANKFURT, Oct 10- ProSiebenSat1.

  • Investors increase Treasuries holdings in week - survey Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 11:00 AM ET

    Treasury debt prices in the latest week as worries over the outcome of Europe's debt crisis supported safe-haven buying of U.S. government debt, a survey released on Wednesday showed. The share of investors who were "short", or holding fewer Treasuries than their benchmarks, was unchanged on the week at 15 percent, according to the latest J.P. Morgan survey.

  • SpaceX Dragon capsule arrives at space station Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 10:59 AM ET

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.-- A private company successfully delivered a half-ton of supplies to the International Space Station early Wednesday, the first official shipment under a billion-dollar contract with NASA. Williams thanked SpaceX and NASA for the delivery, especially the chocolate-vanilla swirl ice cream stashed in a freezer.

  • TEXT-S&P rates Quintiles Transnational loan 'BB-' Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 10:59 AM ET

    --Research Triangle Park, N.C.- based contract services provider Quintiles Transnational Corp. is issuing $175 million in incremental term debt to fund a shareholder distribution.

  • --We are assigning' B' issue-level ratings to its $30 million first-lien revolving credit facility due 2016 and $260 million first-lien term loan due 2018, with recovery ratings of' 3'.

  • Burton's 'Frankenweenie' opens London Film Fest Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 10:56 AM ET

    LONDON-- This year's London Film Festival has Ben Affleck, Dustin Hoffman and the Rolling Stones _ and it's bookended by one of the city's premiere cinematic couples. Britain's biggest film showcase opens Wednesday with the European premiere of London- based American director Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie," the animated tale of a boy and his beloved _ but dead _ dog.

  • Oct 10- U.S. tax preparer H&R Block Inc said it was exploring strategic alternatives for its banking unit to avoid heavy costs associated with stricter supervision under the Dodd-Frank Act. H&R Block, like other companies with small banking units, is under pressure to get out of the business to escape costly oversight by the U.S.

  • UPDATE 4-Jeans maker True Religion says exploring sale Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 10:55 AM ET

    By Juhi Arora and Siddharth Cavale. Oct 10- Premium jeans maker True Religion Apparel Inc, which has been hit by falling sales after a series of fashion missteps, said it may sell itself after receiving interest from potential buyers. Shares of the company jumped as much as 25 percent to $26.25 in early trading on Wednesday, valuing it at about $680 million.